The Long Run

My relationship with exercise has always been tumultuous. It took me many years to finally realise that I should not be regularly exercising for an end result, and rather just incorporating it into my life to just have fun and feel better. About the same amount of years it took me to realise not everyone has the right to give me advice about my health and losing weight just because I’m fat.

Since then I have been on this fitness journey that’s mostly just baby steps, but I’m still counting that as progress. Due to lock down measures here that have me working from home my physical activity level has significantly decreased. And because I now have time saved from commuting, I decided to jog in the mornings before work at a park near home (allowed during lockdown).

Exercise and the universe have always liked to toy with me. You see in this jogging route I take, there is one clear stretch that is about 1.6 km. In American that is 1 mile. Now you may have heard of the 10 minute mile. Not crazy, fairly doable for a person of average fitness. I am however not of average fitness. I am low fitness so when I started timing myself I was taking about 13 mins for this stretch. I made it a goal to get to 10 mins by a certain day. I did manage to shave of about a min and make it 12 mins give or take, at a comfortable pace. Finally that day arrived, I had a game plan, start with the 1.6 km part of the route and give it my all, no breaks, no excuses.

And so ran, I ran as fast as I could, like a serial killer was chasing me and I had to get away. I didn’t let myself stop or slow down, in my head I was like “run fatty run, you are going to finish this or literally die trying”. I completed the mile, felt good and quicker than usual, Usain Bolt had nothing on me. As I was catching my breath, I pulled out my phone (no other measure of time) to check my timing. 11 mins 45 seconds. My absolute, empty tank, everything I had, for 15 seconds. Which I could have achieved anyway at my usual pace. I know it doesn’t make sense but that’s how my life is.

That’s the summary of my dynamic when it comes to exercise and the universe. You know which dynamic rarely fails me? Cake. The me, cake and eating it dynamic. I should stick to cake, but these days I’m more loyal to exercise. Who am I?

Holding out hope

A little backstory, I was talking (i.e. messaging) as friend as I needed a character for a government job and he works for the government, when he told me to not have expectations to get a call back for the role I was applying for. He wasn’t being shady, there is just a preference for graduates from the local unis for government positions. To which I replied, don’t worry if there’s one thing I have learnt in life, it’s to never have hope.

And that ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the topic of the day, hope. Now this topic is one I have written about before. The post in 2013 is pretty much sums up how I feel now but with more confidence. Never have hope, when it comes to job applications, the weather, people, travel plans (damn virus), nothing. It’s not worth it. Beside hope is sort of a feeling/want is it not? And feelings are not fact. So why waste time with that?

It’s a bit bleak but in all honestly that’s what life has taught me, and to be fair I am even more cynical now than I have been when I wrote that post 7 years ago. My mistrust of hope runs deep.

Social Distance License

It dawned on me that some of us should receive certification for being social distancing/isolation experts. This is because we live our lives predominantly solo. I was thinking about my lifestyle and outside work I rarely socialise. I even get annoyed when people get in my space on trains. Hence we (true introverts) are lower risk than most super social people who constantly need to be with people. You know those who can’t even go out for a meal alone? Those people. Most things I do, I do alone. Shopping, coffee dates, going out for sushi, brunch, grocery run, movies, travel, doctor’s appointment, workshops/classes, almost everything, it’s usually as a party as one. Maybe it should be called a lower transmission risk license. Whatever it is, we as introverts have a higher chance of embracing and abiding by social distancing measures. Like when I saw this story, while others were laughing or amused, I thought this man was true genius (picture linked to article).

Eagle egg

Tonight I write about a group of people you may have heard of. They are a quiet, mild mannered bunch that love “helping” others and do not think they own the world. Did the title clue you in? I am talking about Americans. Now, yes, I know I am going to be over generalising and referring to stereotypes in this post. And I also know most of you are not like that, so don’t come at me with your guns, instituitionalised racism or disease carrying anti-vaxxers.

This BuzzFeed article is what set it off for me. If you didn’t click the link, the author talks about eggs. And how the rest of the world outside the US does not refrigerate them. She based this largely based off 1 TikTok and a couple of Tweets. This blew my mind. No, not the egg thing (we’ll come back to that). The fact that this writer lumped the non-american residents of the planet into 1 category, and based her perspective of this entire population off a TikTok. Like, huh? So to any American reading this, could you please enlighten me on the following?

  • Do you view the world as just American / non-American ?
  • Are you aware of how large the world outside the US is?
  • When are you going to switch to the metric system?

Back to the eggs, I have only lived in 2 (non-american) countries in my lifetime. And in both, as far as I know people refrigerate eggs. My housemate at uni used to go back home to her family’s farm and come back with fresh eggs, and guess where she would put them? In the fridge! Now you don’t have to look too far, just look at the comments on that article on BuzzFeed itself or the other channels where they posted it. So many people from so many countries commenting how that’s not an “American” thing to do.

I don’t rely on BuzzFeed as my source of hard hitting journalism or facts, but I guess I expected more from them. I guess I’ll just stick to their quizzes. Time to find out if I am more left brained or right brained based on my taste in desserts.

Shorts

I bought a pair of PJs online. Short sleeve, with shorts because I live in a tropical climate. They arrived, I was happy. And then my parents happened. If you have not read any of my other posts let me tell you something, I am fat. Chubby rolls everywhere. So these shorts that came with the PJs right, I personally don’t think they are that bad. It’s mid-thigh/mini skirt length, roomy, perfect for at home in this heat. But the comments from my parents, you would think I was wearing hot pants. To loosely translate what my mother said, “there is nothing uglier than those shorts”. I mean I know I don’t have super model legs but I was actually feeling my new PJs. Well I was, up until the parents. Those of you isolated/under lock down alone, oh how I envy you.

But it’s okay, I have decided to use what I learnt from watching RPDR , and make it work, regardless what anyone thinks.

House mouse

With all parts of the world in some form of lock down, there has been an increase number of memes, post, rambles about what people will do when things go back to “normal”. I am however pretty happy with the current situation.

Working from home is great, it gives me more time to exercise, cook my own meals (i.e. eat healthier), I don’t have to see the toxic idiots I work with. I guess I didn’t have much of a social life, so it’s not a big leap for me. In fact normally a weekend spent fully with no plans is normally something I look forward to.

I think it’s routed in 2 things, being highly introverted (all those that claim to be introverts but are “dying” for social connection/interaction are not truly introverts) and also loneliness. I’ve always felt a sense of loneliness, and someone in this climate as contradictory as it may be, it actually feels less lonely even though interactions are reduced. Might be a bit of the lack of FOMO maybe? Anyone have thoughts?

Backdate

There’s this thing people do, write letters to their younger self. Accomplished people, celebrities write and post these, I believe as encouragement to young people going through a tough time. I get that. But then you have your average Joes and Karens writing them. They are supposed to be therapeutic? I thought I would give it a go.

Dear Younger self,

It gets better. Just kidding, no it doesn’t. There’s no magic power in your future. You just get better at coping with all the bullshit thrown your way. Mind you, your coping mechanism is going to be food. It’s an unhealthy but thoroughly delicious one. Side effect, you going to stay fat, it’s fine, you’ll eventually make peace with it. As said in a show you you’ll watch in 2020 (After Life), “We’re all dying, being healthy is just dying more slowly”.

My biggest advice to you is to trust yourself. You are smarter than you give yourself credit. And even if it turns out you aren’t, you will be happier with those decisions where you listened to yourself. In fact you actually turn out to be someone come to for advice. On matters you have no clue on like relationships and parenting (yeah, sorry, you’ll be 33, single with no kids, you can stop dreaming that dream now), you tend to give logic driven advice. Somehow that great advice you give others, you struggle applying in your own life.

Don’t be too sad about being childless and partner-less. In 2020 you are doing to be stuck indoors due to a global virus outbreak. Your friends with children are going to complain about their little ones. And all you can think is “sucks to be you”. Yes, I did say global pandemic. It will be bad, like really bad. But you’ll be fine. In fact, as an introvert, you will be living your best life while people around you are complaining of the lack of social connection.

There’s this reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. In the current timelines I only discovered it in 2016-2017. The first season is out in 2009. Watch that show from 2009 if possible. So much about belonging, acceptance. Remember the loveless, childless, recluse future that awaits? You need this show. Trust me. It fizzles out a bit after season 8 but watch it anyway.

Make yourself a priority. I cannot stress this enough. No it is not selfish. It is a simple fact of life. You need to take care of yourself. Put as much work (or more) into being the best you for yourself as you do trying to be a good friend, daughter, employee. This might be tough to understand, but it’s better to start working towards that sooner than later. Trying to unpack all that in your 30s when you finally realise “you” are the most important relationship you will have is a tough ask.

Look, here’s the gist of it. It’s not going to be easy, things won’t go according to plan about 80% of the time. And I mean all your plans and back-up plans and the back-plans to back-up plans and so on. This is not to raise your hopes, hope is overrated. Things are going to be fine, challenging but doable. Despite all the bullshit, despite getting stuck in a job you hate, despite being underestimated, you will find things about yourself and life that make things okay.

Always make time to be grateful for things in your life, you actually have it pretty good. Also buy stock in Google, and a couple of bitcoin while you’re at it.

Love, Future you

Am I supposed to feel better now? Or does it take a while? I will let you guys know when it hits. If it ever does.

Happy

It’s been a long while. Yesterday I had to reset my WordPress login information. It was such a pain that i thought to make my efforts worth it I better write something. I have wanted to write more.

So my life has not changed too much since I started this blog. I’ve had some career progression, still single, still navigating life the way I do. I struggle a bit with mental health and mindfulness these days so I have google send my a mindfulness tip every morning. That’s what got me thinking and led me to this post.

A few mornings ago Google asked me to start my day by listing 5 things that make me happy. I was stumped. I could only come up with 2. Then I spent the rest of the day grumpy. Stupid phone, what does it even know about being happy to question me?

Took me a while but I finally came up with 5 things that make me happy.

One: Knowing that my friends and family are happy and well. I genuinely feel when good things happen to good people. There are times good things happen to bad people, but that’s for another blog post. Probably have to write that one not sober. And I am not proud of it but I sometimes cry watching Ellen when you know she gives out stuff to deserving people. It’s just a nice feeling. I am constantly worrying about people in my life. Most of them probably don’t realise the extent. Plus I have loved ones scattered all over the world. Hearing that they are happy, safe and well makes me happy.

Two: Travel. Not going to lie. This was actually the first thing that popped into my head (and what I wrote up there was the second) Decided to put it as number 2 so you guys won’t think I am a pretentious monster. Don’t get me wrong travelling is a privilege, I am well aware of that. It makes me to happy though, being in a corner of the world that is so physically or culturally far from your usual way of life. Love it when I get to experience natural landscapes as well, starved of that living in my little city state.

Three: Appreciation. This mostly in the form of little thank yous at form from client. Like today this dude who’s first language isn’t English sent me this thank you for a simple thing I did. And it warmed my cold, dead heart so much.

Four: Coffee. Come on, it’s me we’re talking about. As cliche as it is, I love me a good cup of coffee. Overpriced coffee is what I miss most about staying at home. Not the socialising, not the “connection”, I miss my ability to go get myself a cup of good coffee. When I am at work too, the only thing that regularly lifts my mood is my one true love.

Five: My bed. Every morning when I wake up on a work day I immediately start counting down to when I will be reunited with my bed with too many pillows. A good night’s sleep sometimes makes me a new person.

What are 5 things that may you truly happy?

Litmus Test – Racism edition

If you ever need to find out how racist your new friends/acquantainces you just have to see how thier toddlers react to you. This only works if you are a minority. It happened to me yesterday. My ex-coworker, or to steal a phrase from Ron Swanson, work proximity associate, invited me over to her house for a gathering. Her daughter was afraid of me. She was fine with everyone else. I would put that to 1 of 2 things, 1 her parents use the “if you’re naughty the scary indian uncle/auntie will take you away” (it’s something parents here commonly use) or she’s not used to people that are darker shades. Both are bad in my opinion, but oh well what you going to do when you are less than 9% of the population?

How to be kind to your single friends

Since my first post 6 years ago about being endangered, not much has changed in that part of my life. Well I have moved from being chronically single in my 20s to chronically single in my 30s. I want to say it’s different, that I’ve embraced the solitude, independence, etc, but truth is I’ve already done all that and then some. It’s pretty much like being single in your 20s except now you are single and more prone to getting injured by just walking to the water cooler, your biological clock/ovaries have given up on you cause your hormones  are out of whack, and instead of having any hope of finding a confidant or partner you, just resign yourself to the impending future of dying alone. So in other words, fun times.

The following list on how to be kind to your single friend, if you’re coupled up, are things I have probably mentioned before on this blog but after recent events I thought I would post them again. Just some “highlights” that frustrate me in my first world problem plagued life. 

1. Don’t cancel on them last minute. If you do, acceptable excuses include, life or death situations, you or your child being sick. A scheduling conflict because you prioritised your catch up session much lower than a last minute lunch with your in-laws (who you live with) is not a valid excuse.

2. Don’t give them dating advice. Do we give you tips on your marriage or how to raise kids? Just like how we have no clue in that area you’ve been out of the dating scene since George Bush was POTUS. Do you really think you have any useful information relevant to 2019 or that we haven’t heard of the “latest” dating app.

3. If you turn the topic of conversation to an in depth discussion on marriage, in-laws, babies, don’t be surprised if we space out. Sure your kids are cute and your mother-in-law may be the best person in the world/total nightmare (it’s equally annoying hearing about both), but we have nothing to contribute to these discussions. Not only will we eventually get bored, these conversations sometimes give us FOMO or make us feel extra lonely (though I have to admit sometimes they make me go, thank god I’m single and don’t have kids).

4. Finally don’t assume. No, just no. Don’t make any assumptions about our lives and think you have a better outlook on things because you are married or are a parent. I’m not out living a uni-student/party lifestyle. I’m adulting too, just not in the same way as you.